There are so many stories coming from the war in Ukraine. One of the countries that is most impacted by the war and refugees is the small county of Moldova. This is their story.
On 5 November, the capitals of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova were connected by direct rail for the first time in 24 years. The new train line aims to offer refugees fleeing the war a safe route out of Ukraine and into the neighbouring Republic of Moldova – especially with a harsh winter looming and heating cuts already widespread.
Since the onset of war in Ukraine, more than 700,000 people have left the country for the Republic of Moldova, which is now also facing its own energy crisis. Some 100,000 refugees remain in the country, two thirds of them women, who face particular challenges when fleeing conflict.
“For them, displacement will bring increased vulnerability to violence, sexual abuse and exploitation,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on International Women’s Day 2022.
But for many, the risk of staying behind in Ukraine and facing the threat of Russian attacks and a bitterly cold winter without heat or power outweighs any risks associated with making for Moldova – especially with the new train route providing passengers a secure pathway across borders.
The Kyiv-Chișinău train offers them hope that better, safer days are ahead. Follow along for one of its cross-border journeys between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, which transports passengers from the threat of peril towards the opportunity of peace.
United Nations Population Fund